Support » Plugin: The SEO Framework » Homepage SEO settings

  • Resolved wpfan1000

    (@wpfan1000)


    Hi,

    When I edit the homepage, under Homepage SEO settings I am seeing this:

    Meta Title
    Characters used – Far too long

    I then wanted to uncheck [x] Remove the blogname? [?] to reduce the number of characters.
    But the plugin will not allow me to uncheck.
    Why not?

    There was default text in the Meta title field – I did not know where it came from. Later I found it was also in the SEO Settings.

    But I typed in some new text into this field (not in SEO settings but in editor) and this changed the number of characters but I still could not remove title.

    Then I went to SEO Settings > Home page settings
    There I see:
    Meta Title Additions field and it has some text in it.
    Confusing – Where did this text come from?

    IMHO I find many things confusing:

    1) You cannot remove the Site name from the Title even though there is a check box but it doesnt work

    2) The Meta title can be filled in in BOTH the editor and SEO Settings – It is usually very confusing to be able to change the same thing in more than one location….

    3) The Meta tile in the editor is NOT the same as in SEO Settings, even when I refresh both pages to make sure they have the latest info.

    3a) It is not explained if the contents of the same field, eg the Meta tile field in the editor and the same field in SEO Settings, if one takes precendence over another….

    4) The Meta Title Additions – Why is it called Additions? Plural?

    4b) Why would I want to fill in a field called Meta Title Additions when I can just add it to the Meta title field itself?

    4c) This field has greyed out content but I have no idea where that content comes from.

    5) Re the separate Additions tab…..again – Why would I want to fill in a field called Meta Title Additions when I can just add it to the Meta title field itself?

    5a) This field has some greyed out content – where did it come from?

    5b) This setting determines which side the added title text will go on
    The Left: and Right: fields show exaclty the same text (likely because it is too long) so there is no difference at all between them and so you cannot see an example of Left vs Right.

    6) I think some of the contents of the same field in the editor and SEO settings come from the same source – but this is VERY confusing – Does one over-ride the other? Is one always the top priority source? If I load the editor does it get its contents from the SEO settings? If I load the SEO settings does it load from the editor?
    if I change the contents of the same field in the editor, then I have different info in the SEO settings?

    7) The above is related to the Meta title field – But the Meta Description field is also in two locations – in the home page editor and SEO settings.

    8) The horizontal colored bars, if you hover over them, say something like”
    “565 out of 500 pixels used”
    Is that really relevant to have to know/be concerned how many pixels are used?

    I am confused by all this I don’t even know how to properly describe all that I am confused about, but this is a start……

    I will say that my opinion at this time is that this is needlessly confusing and frustrating and time wasting to have to figure this out to the point where it makes me reconsider using the plugin, and that the Meta title and Meta Description fields should only be editable in one location.

    I have been a huge fan of your plugin until I came across these issues – hopefully I can get un-confused and continue to be a fan πŸ™‚

    • This topic was modified 11 months, 2 weeks ago by wpfan1000.
Viewing 4 replies - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
  • Plugin Author Sybre Waaijer

    (@cybr)

    Hello again πŸ™‚

    Thanks for opening this topic and highlighting your concerns. Let’s get right through your vast list of questions and comments.

    To start off, I wish to highlight that WordPress brings complexity in SEO; it is the reason why SEO plugin developers bring out updates often. With this, I completely understand your confusion. With The SEO Framework, I tried to ease this excruciating and agonizing task in such a way that when you don’t understand an option, you can leave it as default and it’ll be fine regardless.

    Comments 1,2,3,6,7)
    You’ve asked the same question multiple times, but with different intentions. I’ll try to answer 1, 2, 3, 6 and 7 in the paragraphs below.

    The homepage has its very special meta box on the site SEO Settings page. There you can remove the additions as you desire. Because the homepage is an extraordinary page in WordPress, the option found on the page-edit-screen for it can’t work reliably; so, I disabled it.

    TSF Homepage Settings

    To reiterate, WordPress’ homepage is a special page. It can be a blog, a page, and even a collection of widgets. It’s the most unreliable page that ships with WordPress by default, and it may or may not have various access points.

    In essence, WordPress creates a considerable discrepancy, and we as developers have to deal with it. Here’s an image that shows just how complex the WordPress query is, especially for the “Site Front Page” diagram, as it splits off:
    https://developer.wordpress.org/files/2014/10/Screenshot-2019-01-23-00.20.04.png

    To accommodate for this, and to allow The SEO Framework to interact with it in more ways than one, I’ve made all the options available within the edit-page-screen settings as well as in the SEO Settings. It wasn’t always the case; in earlier versions of The SEO Framework, the edit-page-screen settings were vastly more advanced than what you could find on the SEO Settings page.

    When a user transfers a homepage from one page to another, which already has some custom meta-data assigned to it, we don’t want this to be erased. We also have to accommodate for websites that allow for more than one homepage, like websites using Polylang’s or WPML’s translation software, which incur not using the special homepage meta box in the SEO Settings because that won’t be translated.

    I believe you’ve already figured out how TSF deals with this situation:

    1. We provide options in the SEO settings page, which state on top that they supersede the options found on the homepage edit-page-screen.
      • We provide options on the edit-page-screen, which state via a [?] that the SEO Settings take precedence over these settings.
      • We provide placeholders on all option inputs that show the real value; even the counters or social setting placeholders won’t budge when the input is superseded.

    TSF Homepage SEO Settings warning

    TSF Homepage in-page Settings warning

    Now, I still have to iron all this out, while not abandoning expected behavior, and without sending out a destructive update. This is a most challenging task, (as is evident from 39 updates fixing homepage-related bugs), and if you have any ideas that could help us with this, that’d be very much appreciated!

    Comment 4a)
    The “Meta Title Additions” used to encapsulate more than one type of addition. Now, it merely removes the tagline. Essentially, it can still be plural if the additions consist of more than one word. If you know a better term for this, do let me know!

    Now, I don’t want to change strings unless it’s truly necessary (or when doing a batch upgrade), because it imposes work on the translators.

    Comments 4b,4c,5)
    You’d want to use the homepage title and tagline fields separately because search engines can discern the title from the tagline, and we do use the different input fields in more scenarios. For example, we use that input in breadcrumbs; although Google abandoned its usefulness last year. Nevertheless, may they choose to reintroduce its usefulness, then you’ve come prepared.

    Moreover, I recommend using the site title (which is added to every other page on your site) as the homepage title, and then add your slogan to it. This way, your branding is clear for robots and users alike.

    Comment 5a)
    Placeholders for the home page settings may come from your homepage in-page settings, or from your site’s general settings. This plugin is taught to take everything useful from your site, while still giving you full control over it.

    I didn’t lie about The SEO Framework being a plugin that can be used advantageously without any configuration required. It is still something I have to teach reviewers, as it’s often overlooked; they only look at the number of “settings” as “features”; but never at its “time-saving” capabilities.

    Comment 5b)
    The left/right title placement setting for the homepage only shows a difference when the additions are enabled.

    The interface adapts to your settings so that you won’t come to surprises. I try to replicate the front-end behavior in the back-end. It’s a pattern I’ve reused throughout the plugin; this alleviates you from the task of having to double-check.

    In other words, although it’s counter-intuitive when you come from other SEO plugins, here you can trust the interface; a safe and understanding environment if you will. I understand that other plugins don’t do this, as it requires utmost care and attention when implementing (remember the 39 updates linked earlier?) and it took a big part of my 10k+ hours of work on this plugin.

    Comment 8)
    The pixel counter brought in The SEO Framework is your best friend! The way it works is by calculating the pixels of your proposed metadata. For example, an i takes less space than a W.

    I’ve just published a KB article that explains how pixel counters work.

    Final word
    I hope this all helps you understand the complicated struggle we’re facing in working with WordPress and the home pages, in adding support for all content types therein and after, and in shedding some light on the pixel counters. You’ve literally got “fan” written all over you, so I truly welcome your questions and concerns.

    wpfan1000

    (@wpfan1000)

    Hi,

    Thank you very much for taking the time and effort to reply so extensively.

    I realize in retrospect how much I covered and hence how much time you needed to respond, sorry about that.

    I think I will respond to each of the sections you addressed above, one section at a time, and wait a few days if you would like to respond.

    Your first section:

    Comments 1,2,3,6,7)

    I can totally understand that this issue is a complex one for SEO plugin developers.
    And I don’t pretend to understand the details of the complexity – that is above my head πŸ™‚

    What I did learn (and I am sure there is more complexity) is the need for having front page settings in the plugin settings if the front page is a recent posts page, because then there is no actual post or page for the front page, and so there cannot be any SEO settings in the editor.
    And that if one does have a page for the front page, then it will have settings for SEO like all other pages/posts, but the front page SEO settings will also be in the plugin settings.

    Now, I still have to iron all this out, while not abandoning expected behavior, and without sending out a destructive update. This is a most challenging task, (as is evident from 39 updates fixing homepage-related bugs), and if you have any ideas that could help us with this, that’d be very much appreciated!

    After I made my original post for this issue, I took a look at how other SEO plugins handle it:

    All in One has a setting on the Plugin setting to disable SEO for the front page:
    https://semperplugins.com/documentation/home-page-settings/#use-static-front-page-instead
    If you select Disable, you cannot enter any front page SEO settings in the plugin settings, you must do it in the editor of the page that is the front page.

    Yoast SEO handles it by, in the plugin settings screen, only having a link to go to the front page to edit it directly and enter SEO settings in the editor screen.
    I imagine that Yoast does something like:

    if front page post type == “page”
    then do not show front page SEO settings in the plugin settings and instead show a link to edit the front page

    So those two approaches I would like to suggest for your consideration if you would like some ideas.

    I really like Yoast’s approach because a user does not have to understand why you would want to disable settings in the plugin settings screen, which All in One SEO expects users to know. Ie Yoast takes care of this without a user having to know any of the ideas that you and I are discussing in this issue. It is fool proof and avoids a user being confused like I was.

    After thinking about it for a week or so, with all due respect, I do continue to think that the current method of having SEO settings in both the page editor and plugin settings is very confusing.

    You do explain that the SEO settings in the plugin settings screen override the ones in the page editor, but I don’t see any point in having any SEO settings in the page editor if they are over-ridden by the plugin settings.

    Also I still find this confusing:

    IF there are no additional settings in the plugin settings screen for the front page, ie just default values are used, and you then enter some settings in the page editor, do the default values in the plugin settings screen STILL over-ride the page editor settings?

    If you use default settings in the plugin settings page, you are not really entering any settings there, and so if a user is not entering settings there, it is possible to think that since there are no manually entered settings in plugin settings, then they will not / cannot over-ride manually entered settings in the page editor.

    Veel dank en fijne dag…

    Plugin Author Sybre Waaijer

    (@cybr)

    Yes, I do tend to take longer to reply to bigger requests πŸ˜€

    The approaches Yoast and AIO took, don’t take into account that any page can be transformed into a homepage, or from a homepage to a regular page. This means that data will be lost if those settings aren’t in place, and that’s a no-go for me. It is the main reason why you see the settings, and it’s also a blocker for alternative solutions.

    Of course, users don’t switch homepages often, but it was still a pain-point in my consideration.

    So, to re-clarify:

    1. The global SEO settings for the homepage will always override the SEO settings that you can find on the page edit screen.
      • When nothing’s filled in, then the placeholder will always show the used value, on either screen.
      • A checkbox (e.g. for noindex) can be either on or off; so if either one is on, they’re both on. When this happens, bold red warnings will appear.

    With that, I think you now fully grasp the intention behind the design, and how it all works πŸ™‚ Note that if something’s wrong with the homepage, then TSF will warn you about it.

    Now, I’ll be sure to output more text and explanation for the homepage in a future update, so users won’t stumble upon what you’ve experienced. Something like:

    “The description is taken from [this page](link). This is the description: ‘description here’.”.

    That was already in the planning, but I couldn’t find an easy way to execute this thus far. The Gutenberg/Block Editor integration is halting some of my progress, as I don’t want to add too much to the current meta box before merging it in the side panel.

    I hope this clarifies everything! πŸ™‚

    En eensgelijks natuurlijk: Ik wens jou ook een prettige dag tegemoet!

    wpfan1000

    (@wpfan1000)

    Thanks for explaining things more – I didn’t realize how complex it gets, eg when changing to another page for the front page.

    Marking as resolved.

Viewing 4 replies - 1 through 4 (of 4 total)
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